“I need more time to get everything done.”
Sound familiar? When I ask entrepreneurs and small business owners what they would change about their day-to-day, they almost always give that same answer. And I totally get why. As a small business owner, you wear an array of hats—from HR Manager to Accountant, Sales Manager, and more.
Even in 2023, when times might get lean, there’s only so much one person can do. How are you supposed to find the minutes (and money) for marketing? Perhaps you’ve tried the DIY approach and found that it’s taking too much time and effort for too little return. The ways in which bad marketing eats up your resources are plentiful.
Ha! Can’t I now get the bots to create marketing content for me?
Ah, the question on everyone’s lips: “Can’t I just get ChatGPT to do it?” Often, you can. The question is whether or not it actually helps you achieve your goals in the long run. It could help me cut costs in my own business, as we generate a lot of original marketing content for our clients. If writing a blog post was a check-the-box activity, I could fire my content writer and get AI to write the post for free. This might be wonderful for profitability—in the short term.
Google is increasingly looking for content that satisfies its Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust (E.E.A.T) search quality guidelines. Its algorithms put user experience above everything else, so the content displayed at the top of the search results needs to meet the highest quality standard. Google has not said that AI content is explicitly bad; rather, their (AI-powered!) algorithms focus on whether the content is helpful or not, the same way they would evaluate any content online.
The truth is that AI is an average writer at best; it can only remix content that has already been published elsewhere. It lacks nuance, informed opinions, unique insights, experience, voice, and other quirks that make human-created content stand out above the bots and gives Google a reason to rank it. If I decided to go all-in on bot blogs, I would expect our clients to see a drop in their keyword rankings, website traffic, and leads. Furthermore, I would be eliminating one of the things I most often hear about as a benefit of working with us: that we know how to capture the unique voice of each client and write content that stands out from what their competitors are producing. Frankly, using ChatGPT to write content for my clients would be business suicide.
This is a very specific example, but what I’m getting at is that what humans (and Google) love about humans are the things that make us human. If you want to know what I mean by that, check out this post I recently saw.
Am I just telling technology to get off my lawn?
Maybe. I’ll admit I’ve never been one to go all-in on the latest consumer tech. I remember laughing at the people who camped outside the Apple store in downtown Chicago to get the first iPhone. I love the experience of reading a physical book way too much to ever use a Kindle or similar device. Right now, I’m locked in a battle with my computer, which wants me to download the latest version of Windows, and I keep saying no because I don’t want to deal with learning something new.
AI is different, though. First of all, it’s part of my everyday life in ways that I don’t even think about. It’s also got its limitations. I recently posted on LinkedIn about an AI encounter with my municipal water department. Long story short, I received an email notifying me of a water leak at my home. After checking all the obvious sources and calling a plumber to look deeper, it was determined that an overload of laundry was the culprit.
Had it not been for the alarming notification, I never would’ve suspected any problems. I also could’ve been stuck with a $1,200 water bill had the leak been real. I’m thankful for technology that can call my attention to a potential problem—but I realize that the tech works best when paired with human judgment. This is where we come full circle to AI-generated content. Many other writers have pointed out that ChatGPT and Jasper are tools that help them get started. I’d say the same about Grammarly, which helps me proofread but doesn’t replace human copyeditors. None of these tools can take the place of talented humans who have spent years honing their crafts.
Besides, do you really want your marketing content to read like one of those annoying chatbots that can never fully answer your customer service questions?
Thanks, there goes my AI time-saver!
Sorry if I’ve put a damper on your dreams of awarding AI the job of Marketing Director. (See how I might have saved you an awkward handshake!). If you want to consistently create content that resonates with your target audience, bring in a human—it doesn’t have to be you, especially if writing isn’t your jam.
After speaking with so many small business owners about their challenges in getting their marketing off the ground, we’ve created a Digital Marketing Starter Package that is great for busy business owners, start-ups, solopreneurs, coaches, consultants, and self-employed individuals, i.e. those of you wearing all the hats! The goal was to give these businesses a simple, expert-led, and cost-effective way to launch or overhaul their marketing (and their businesses) strategically. The package involves an 18-month investment and a flat fee (locked in for life) for all the basics (including a sparkling-new, professional website) to take the marketing hat off your head and give you the time you need to focus on what you do best. You can learn more about it here.
And if some of that extra time means finding ways for AI to work for you, I’d love to hear about your successes so I can do the same. There are countless other applications for AI content generators. That said, you won’t catch me reading ChatGPT’s best-selling novel.
You may also be interested in: 5 benefits of using an outsourced marketing director